Each fall for the last seven years I’ve faced the same challenge: Who do I put my faith in? Who is going to get me what I need to succeed and be victorious? Who can I rely on? Now before you read any further I need to clarify, I’m talking Fantasy Football here.
For those who don't know, Fantasy Football is a way for you and a group of friends to compete by drafting teams made up of NFL players that you select. The stats that the players get in real life equate to a set number of points. For example, a touchdown might be worth 4 or 6 points, an interception might be -2 points, and so on. Then at the end of each week of actual NFL games, someone has bragging rights.
As I pick my starting line-up for the week I’m faced with questions like, ‘What players have good matchups against bad teams?’, ‘Who is not playing this week?’, ‘Which players have been underperforming or overperforming?’, ‘Who is hurt?’ Answering questions like these is where the excitement and challenge of the game is found. Because no matter how much faith I have in, say, DeAndre Hopkins, (arguably one of the NFL’s most talented wide receivers), it's not enough to overcome his circumstance of having a terrible quarterback and an overall bad offense. Thus, DeAndre Hopkins continues to sit on the bench and bring in very little points. My faith in him doesn’t affect the outcome!
So how does all of this relate to real life? Well, as I sit and stare at my fantasy team, second guessing who I’ve chosen to play, I realize just how fortunate I am. Because I know that in the real world outside of fantasy football I have chosen to put my faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord who never fails me!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6
How encouraging is that?!?! To know that you have the Lord, the Creator of all the earth, on your team fighting for you! In fact, he made the “ultimate play” in sending his Son as a sacrifice to die on the cross for our sins. Because of this we are able to praise Him and enjoy life confidently, knowing that the battle against sin has been won by Jesus’ death, each and every day.
Similar to players in the NFL and their weekly matchups we face days, weeks, even years full of challenges. We go through hardships, times when everything seems hopeless. We are challenged with tough matchups and are given what seem like bad circumstances. Not to mention that we’re sinful, prone to turn against a holy and perfect God, a God who would be just to punish our sin! This is a scary thought! Yet, it’s in these moments that I am most thankful that I have something as firm as Jesus Christ to put my hope in. He is the only person we need on our team! I think Psalm 18:2 says it best:
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” - Psalm 18:2
Now please don’t read this and think that I’m someone who doesn’t have fear or doubt when facing trials in life. I too struggle with putting my faith in Christ. I confess that each day I am challenged with the thought of, “Am I going to trust Christ today or myself?” I would be a liar to say that I perfectly trust in Christ and don’t try and control my own life and situations..
No matter what I’m thankful for the love and mercy that God shows toward me. While I may never find peace or have complete faith in my fantasy team, I can always rest knowing that Christ is forever and I can rely on him alone to save me from my sin and failures. Even faith in Jesus Christ that is the size of a mustard seed is enough to satisfy, no matter the challenges life may bring.